The new HBO Max series Raised By Wolves has just begun streaming and the series is already receiving a ton of praise from both fans and critics alike. The show is truly like nothing we have seen done before within the science fiction genre as it focuses more on the idea of relationships and humanity rather than gadgets and machines. This is definitely due in part to the phenomenal writing by creator Aaron Guzikowski.
However, do not for one moment think that this series is not visually spectacular as well thanks to the visionary genius of co-creator Ridley Scott. Raised By Wolves also marks Scott’s first foray into the world of television as he is best known for his work on the infamous films such a Bladerunner and Alien to only name a few!
The series focuses on a small group of individuals both android and human who have escaped from the destruction of planet Earth and are faced with a mission to recreate life on a new planet. This obviously leads to quite a bit of conflict between the androids and humans as they share very different belief systems and both are willing to put their lives on the line to protect what they feel is right, hence why it is incredibly difficult within the series to pick sides as to who is the hero and who is the villain, as nothing is completely set in black or white, but rather a murky grey as we bounce back and forth between sides. It makes for some truly entertaining television.
We recently had a chance to catch up with series stars Travis Fimmel (Marcus) and Niamh Algar (Sue) who share with us details about their characters, their motivations, and how they are enjoying working on the series!
Q: As you continue to grow and develop with these characters, is there anything that you are surprised to learn about yourselves as actors, as in the show it is oftentimes hard to distinguish who is the hero and who is the villain?
TRAVIS FIMMEL: Personally, I still don’t know where my character goes and I think it just adds up to make the audience relate to us and make any good or bad person think he’s doing the right thing. I don’t think people really set out to do something that they don’t believe in life. My character is trying to do what he believes is right and me, personally, I don’t know if it’s going to turn out with him being a good guy or a bad guy.
Q: Within this show, every character is nuanced in a sense and many have done things they are ashamed of or that they’ve had to do because of the life they are living. What was your reaction when you read the script?
NIAMH ALGAR: I think that is a really good observation and I think that is the way that Aaron [Guzikowski] writes, as he creates really complex characters and they are not just single-minded in what they are trying to do or achieve. There is a certain complexity and you can make even the strongest characters have a certain vulnerability. For example, the character of Mother and there are so many layers there and that is mostly thanks to Amanda [Collin] and her portrayal of an android, as well as, Abu is like nothing I’ve seen in science fiction in regards to how androids are portrayed in films and tv shows. As for the character of Sue, when I read her, it was the same idea that she has been given this path to fight for this boy who has been kind of put upon her and she is hellbent on getting him back yet you have all these incredible obstacles that are created for the character in order to achieve that so it’s incredibly compelling.
Q: We can all tell that this is not your typical run of the mill sci-fi series as there is just something different and fresh about it. What was your feeling walking on set?
TRAVIS FIMMEL: Oh, for sure! I’ve never been involved in a sci-fi series and I was blown away by what Ridley [Scott] has visualized and created. He is an extraordinary talent and he is always trying to be a cutting edge and there is stuff in this series that I have never seen in science fiction. He never wants to repeat himself and it was amazing to work in an environment like that!
Q: As we learned, both of your characters are disguised as another, what were your initial thoughts on that, as you are technically playing two characters at once?
NIAMH ALGAR: That was incredibly intriguing, but a challenge as Sue has immense guilt because first off she is a mother to this kid who believes that this is actually his mother and there is also this incredible question of identity and I think that touches on all of the characters in the story, but much more so with Sue as she is trying to maintain her own identity, but has been forced to put on this mask that she finds difficult to live with, so exploring that as an actor was a really fun challenge.
Q: When looking at your character’s relationship in the series, we know that Sue and Marcus were both warriors or rebels at some point, how can we expect that to play out in the series and how will they adapt to their lives on this new planet?
TRAVIS FIMMEL: Our characters have been together for many, many years and I think what’s great about the show is that we are thrown in and the audience is thrown into this new world and our relationship is really tested. For us, that is where a lot of the drama comes in and for the audience, I think they will wonder if we’re going to be able to stay together or stick together and what’s going to happen to our relationship. It’s definitely a world you get thrown into!
NIAMH ALGAR: I think ours is a very complex relationship and as Travis said, these people have been together for a long time so they have that history and they have the new task of creating this new identity and I think that would change their relationship as it’s such an interesting idea that visually you’ve fallen in love with someone and then all of a sudden the next day you are faced with trying to make a connection with a brand new face or someone who looks like a complete stranger to you and the connection that those two people would have had ingrained in them and that then is a challenge throughout the course of the series, but Travis is great to work with! He is a trickster, as he always kept the scenes interesting that’s for sure!
TRAVIS FIMMEL: Niamh, it was a pleasure to work with you every day!
Q: How much would you say that the planet itself becomes a character within the series, as there are many obstacles to overcome with that as well?
TRAVIS FIMMEL: Yes, for sure, especially when you get into the later episodes the planet really becomes a huge character and game-changer.
NIAMH ALGAR: Yes, I agree. When you think you know what’s going on it flips it on its’ head.
Q: The show has quite a few religious themes running through it, how do you feel those beliefs were balanced on both sides between both the androids and the humans?
NIAMH ALGAR: I think when you are looking at it from the androids point of view is that they have been programmed to be neutral in the religious aspect of it so the way in which the show plays it …well, we live in an unfortunate time where people are discriminated against for their religious beliefs and this is a fictional world that is bringing aspects of that into the story.
Raised By Wolves is now streaming on HBO Max!